Time for a Flu Shot

Flu season is here. Doctors in Wichita Falls tell Newschannel 6 they are already treating people for the virus. Public Health officials say now is the time to get a flu shot, so you can try to keep the big from affecting you this year.

Dr. Ahmad Abazid says the shot is critical to helping protect you. "The CDC recommends that flu shots be started October 1st so we've already started giving it in our clinic and the Health Department has already started giving them," he said.

The shot arms your body with antibodies. "When you have a flu shot, basically you are introducing the flu virus to your system so your system will get to know the virus to begin with so it will build up your immunity. If you are exposed to someone that has the flu or if the virus finds its way to your body then your body will be able to fight the flu more efficiently," he explained.

This year's shot is the same as last. It will protect your body against three different strains of flu, including H1N1 – AKA Swine Flu.

Children are more susceptible to the virus, and need to be vaccinated. "Little children, their immune systems are not as much developed as older people so its very important," said Dr. Abazid.

The CDC says everyone over the age of 6 months can get the vaccine. Dr. Abazid says there are few excuses for getting the shot – and getting it now. "Unless you have a very bad allergy to the flu shot, I don't see any reason why not to have it," he said.

If you want to learn more about this year's flu vaccine, the CDC has information on their web site. The Wichita Falls/Wichita County Public Health District offers shots on a sliding payment scale. You can learn more about that program by clicking here.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6